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Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
LIVE
(Vanguard)

Jazz fans beware: this may be "swing," but itís not "jazz." And if sophisticated harmonies, inspired solos, and a variety of song types and forms are what youíre after, youíll be sadly disappointed with this live CD/DVD combo. The talented swing-jazz-inspired band simply rehash a bunch of their old tunes in the same cartoonish, clichéíd manner thatís made the majority of their studio output more appropriate for a late-í90s Gap commercial than for a full-length CD.

On the bright side: if you enjoyed the neo-swing explosion of 1998, you could do a lot worse than Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and this collection delivers a decent dose of harmless nostalgia. BBVD prove theyíre professional swingers on "I Wanna Be Just like You," "You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three," and "Go Daddy-O" (all made popular by the 1996 Jon Favreau film Swingers), with their punchy horn arrangements and a rhythm section that could host clinics on what it means to be tight. Of course, there are also shameless showboating horn solos, superfluous piano glissandi, and annoying choruses with the entire band harmonizing nonsense lyrics. The DVD doesnít add much other than amateur camera work on the live performances and a brief, uninteresting biography about the bandís origins. If itís swing you want, get hold of some Basie or Ellington.

BY ADAM GOLD


Issue Date: August 20 - 26, 2004
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